GUWAHATI, July 30 - Investigators have stumbled upon clues which hint towards one of the biggest insurance fraud cases of recent times in the State.
The case relates to the incident of fire that broke out at the Sunrise Biscuit Factory located in Boragaon area on July 24 around 2.30 am, following which a claim of more than Rs 16 crore was placed for settlement before the Oriental Insurance Company Limited.
However, information available with this correspondent clearly stated that both the Assam Police and the State Fire Service Organization (SFSO) have raised serious doubts about the genuineness of the claim.
The first-hand investigation report of the local police station also mentioned Umesh Das, the electrician of the company, who had confessed before the workers that the fire was not an accidental one and that he was paid a handsome amount by the owners to plan and execute the same.
�The electrician Umesh Das clearly stated before an agitated group of factory workers that he had orchestrated the fire at the behest of one Ranjan Kumar Barik, for which the former was paid Rs 5 lakh,� the report divulged.
Das, according to the police report, also told the workers of the factory that he had orchestrated similar acts on previous occasions as well.
The workers of the factory, which according to sources will be shut down soon, witnessed three back-to-back incidents of fire in the last few months, which raised doubts among the factory employees.
As no one was willing to lodge a complaint, no case was registered with the Gorchuk Police Station, the local police station report stated. However, an FIR was lodged by the SFSO at the Gorchuk Police Station alleging that there are grounds to be suspicious about the cause of the fire.
The SFSO complaint pointed out that several cartons of biscuits and traces of diesel were found spread over the area under mysterious circumstances, hinting at several loose ends. �It was strange that the fire recurred a few hours after it was doused. All such angles will be probed,� sources pointed out.
When contacted, Additional Director General of Police of SFSO AP Rout said that he has written to the authorities concerned in New Delhi asking the latter to change the format of the form used for assessing the loss due to fire.
Rout in his plea insisted that the onus should be on the owner of the damaged property in question to submit the valuation and not the SFSO official as they are not trained for the purpose.